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Insurer Travelers reports 22.8 percent fall in profit

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Property and casualty insurer Travelers reported a 22.8 percent fall in quarterly net profit on Thursday as gains from underwriting declined.

Gains from underwriting fell 46.2 percent from a year earlier to $408 million before tax.

Underwriting gains reflected a $39 million benefit from an adjustment in reserves for claim-related expenses, compared with a gain of $199 million.

The underlying combined ratio, the percentage of premium revenue an insurer has to pay out in claims, deteriorated to 92.1 percent from 88.8 percent.

A ratio below 100 percent means an insurer earns more in premiums than it pays out in claims.

Travelers, a Dow-30 component that competes with American International Group Inc for the title of the biggest U.S. P&C insurer, said pretax catastrophe losses, net of reinsurance, rose to $89 million from $85 million.

The company's net income fell to $716 million, or $2.45 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $928 million, or $2.97 per share, a year earlier.

On an operating basis, the company earned $2.40 per share, beating analysts' average estimate of $2.38, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.